When this bride’s Nana surprised her with a pre-wedding gift that included a pearl necklace and blue garter, she was overjoyed. But when the bride learned these two pieces were worn by both her Nana and mother on their wedding days, it made them all the more special. Thanks to Sweetlife Photography for a peek inside this classic Portland “I do” chock-full of beautiful moments.
From The Bride…Garrett and I are originally both from Corvallis, OR. Funny enough, we attended the same high school but our paths never really crossed. We knew of each other but didn’t have any interaction since our groups of friends were different. I ended up going to Oregon State University and studied Industrial Engineering, and Garrett attended the United States Air Force Academy where he is currently training to become a pilot. We ended up meeting in college when my roommate at the time had her older sister and some of her friends over to our house. Garrett was there and I thought he was so cute! He ended up asking me out and from that point on, we dated long distance. We were actually long distance our entire relationship until we got married.
When planning our wedding, we knew Garrett would have a narrow window of availability because leave is hard to get approved once pilot training starts. This led us to pick a winter date—we knew he would have the most time off then. We really wanted our wedding to have a sophisticated winter feel while staying away from the classic red and green Christmas theme. We had the guys wear black tuxedos and chose bridesmaids dresses that were a soft color next to mine so they would stand out without having a stark contrast. One of my ultimate favorite floral elements is dusty miller so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the arrangements (this is also the color I picked for my bridesmaids’ dresses). To compliment the dusty miller, we added white hydrangeas, blush garden roses, and dark purple calla lilies to keep things wintery. In addition to this, some of my favorite decorations were the white birch trees lit with twinkle lights that we scattered around the art gallery where we had our reception, which gave a warm winter feel.
To me, some of the most beautiful aspects of our wedding were the personal touches that we were able to incorporate. In particular, the day after Garrett and I got engaged, my grandma (who I call “Nana”) gave me a present—a garter and a pearl necklace. I was overjoyed by the gift but did not understand the true significance of it at first. Nana went on to explain that she and my mother both wore these items on their wedding days. It is honestly amazing that she was able to save these things for me and bless me with the honor of wearing them at my own wedding! My family is very small and we are all very close, and the fact that she wanted me to wear these accessories meant so much to me.
We tried to tie aspects of both our families into the wedding. Although Garrett is in the military, we didn’t want a strictly military wedding. However, we did want to include aspects of this part of our life so we had a saber arch at our wedding ceremony and cut the wedding cake with an Air Force saber (Garrett loved that part!). Another aspect of our wedding that had great meaning for us both was lighting candles during our ceremony in memory of Garrett’s dad. He was unexpectedly diagnosed with lung cancer in April and passed away soon after, just months before our wedding. This impacted Garrett and I greatly and was something we definitely wanted to acknowledge during the ceremony. The memory of Garrett’s dad was also honored throughout the toasts at our reception. So many heartfelt words were spoken that moved the whole room to tears.
Our reception was held in an art gallery, and they were amazing because they allowed us to pick which art pieces we would like displayed. Garrett and I had our first dance to Make You Feel My Love by Adele, which was simply perfect for us. We also had a photo booth to keep our guests entertained, ice cream sandwiches from Ruby Jewel (our favorite ice cream place in Portland), and a late night taco bar which all made for a very special night full of fun and dancing. Overall, our day was filled with endless laughter, love, and wonderful family which we are so grateful for.
Photography: Sweetlife Photography | Coordination: Your Perfect Florist | Floral Design: Swoon Floral | Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick's Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Gallery 903 | Bride's Shoes: Valentino d'Orsay | Rings: Packouz Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: Pearl Catering | Hair + Makeup: Brenna From Epic Day Spa | DJ: Kenneth Poirier | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Bridal Boutique: Anna's Bridal Boutique | Film Processing: The Find Lab | Getting Ready Venue: The Sentinel Hotel | Invitations + Stationery: Hannah McCarty | Rentals: The Party Place | Rentals: Something Borrowed Portland | Wedding Dress + Veil: JLM Couture, Inc